Project Title

Public-Private Dialogue (PPD) on Emerging Opportunities and Challenges in Implementing the APEC Connectivity Blueprint 2025 

Project Year

2019   

Project Number

CTI 15 2019A 

Project Session

Session 2   

Project Type

Standard 

Project Status

Project in Implementation   
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Project No.

CTI 15 2019A 

Project Title

Public-Private Dialogue (PPD) on Emerging Opportunities and Challenges in Implementing the APEC Connectivity Blueprint 2025 

Project Status

Project in Implementation 

Publication (if any)

 

Fund Account

APEC Support Fund 

Sub-fund

ASF: Connectivity 

Project Year

2019 

Project Session

Session 2 

APEC Funding

93,488 

Co-funding Amount

Total Project Value

93,488 

Sponsoring Forum

Committee on Trade and Investment (CTI) 

Topics

Trade Facilitation 

Committee

Committee on Trade and Investment (CTI) 

Other Fora Involved

 

Other Non-APEC Stakeholders Involved

 

Proposing Economy(ies)

Malaysia 

Co-Sponsoring Economies

Chile; China; Hong Kong, China; Japan; Papua New Guinea; Philippines; Singapore 

Expected Start Date

01/12/2019 

Expected Completion Date

31/01/2021 

Project Proponent Name 1

Mifzal Radzi (wef 26 Feb 2021) 

Job Title 1

Not Applicable 

Organization 1

Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) 

Postal Address 1

Not Applicable 

Telephone 1

(60-3) 62000506 

Fax 1

Not Applicable 

Email 1

mifzal@miti.gov.my 

Project Proponent Name 2

Not Applicable 

Job Title 2

Not Applicable 

Organization 2

Not Applicable 

Postal Address 2

Not Applicable 

Telephone 2

Not Applicable 

Fax 2

Not Applicable 

Email 2

Not Applicable 

Declaration

Mifzal Radzi 

Project Summary

Since the adoption of the APEC Connectivity Blueprint (ACB) in 2014, economies have been reporting their progress in implementing connectivity initiatives to the APEC Secretariat on yearly basis. Nonetheless, the rapidly evolving global economy has presented tremendous challenges to be addressed and opportunities to be grabbed by economies towards achieving various targets established in the Blueprint. The proposed PPD is aimed at exchanging ideas in progressing the Blueprint implementation through stronger collaboration between public and private sectors including SMEs, how to move forward with the emerging challenges, risks and opportunities. The PPD is proposed to be held in the margins of SOM3/2020 in Malaysia, to be participated by public and private sectors, international organisations, think tanks and academia.

Relevance

Relevance – Region: In 2013, in Bali, Indonesia, APEC Leaders deliberated the necessity to promote a seamlessly and comprehensively connected APEC based on the pillar of physical, institutional and people-to-people. The aspiration was substantiated through the establishment of the APEC Connectivity Blueprint (ACB) 2015-2025 in 2014, where officials were instructed to strengthen the three connectivity pillars by enhancing the existing initiatives that require further progress, and proposing new strategic initiatives that require more concrete collaborations among APEC economies. The implementation of ACB was reported annually by volunteer economies through the Yearly Review with mid-term and final reviews to be conducted in 2020 and 2025, respectively.

Fast forward to 5 years later, connectivity-related projects present imminent challenges and opportunities arising from the digital economy and digitalisation we are embracing, mega international infrastructure projects, as well as the current global trade and investment slowdown. Both challenges and opportunities need prompt and coordinated policy response from the Governments, complemented with cooperation and contribution from the private sector. Thus, this PPD seeks to address those aspects with a view to enhancing synergies between the public and private sector including SMEs, in particular during the second half of implementation of the Blueprint. It would provide a platform for both parties to strike a meaningful conversation covering all three connectivity pillars.

Relevance – Eligibility and Fund Priorities: The project meets all the eligibility criteria of the Connectivity sub-fund as it intends to address challenges and opportunities under all the connectivity pillars, enhancing cooperation between public and private sectors, as well as sharing of best practices by the private sector and other international organisations such as the ASEAN Secretariat, Asian Development Bank (ADB), Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and OECD.

Relevance – Capacity Building: Through the Dialogue, it is targeted that the APEC economies especially the developing ones could benefit from the sharing of best practices among the stakeholders and in learning to foster stronger collaboration with the private sector. New opportunities should be able to induce innovative practical ideas in enhancing each of the connectivity pillar, as the following examples:

i) Physical: using the endorsed APEC Guidebook on Quality of Infrastructure Development and Investment(Revision) in building quality infrastructure

ii) Institutional: advancing structural reforms, harmonization of best practices and policies and increased number of Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRAs) for a seamless paperless border clearance and adoption of international standards.

iii) People-to-people: better travel facilitation for businesspeople, tourists and students, and MRAs in empowering professionals to practice across the region.

At present, issues and challenges in implementing the ACB has never been addressed in APEC, likewise the opportunities that arise from digitalisation and globalisation efforts, Thus, the Dialogue would be the first platform for important and relevant stakeholders to exchange views on the three connectivity pillars.

CTI plays a vital role in implementing and providing platform for these capacity-building initiatives, which could include continuation and extended work of the Supply Chain Connectivity Action Plan Phase II (SCFAP II) among others.

Objectives

The objective of the Dialogue is to provide platform for both public and private sectors (including SMEs) to exchange ideas, practical experience and strategic assessment in addressing the challenges, risks and leveraging opportunities arising from the digital economy, global value chains and other external factors during the implementation of the Blueprint. The Dialogue is also an avenue for economies to brainstorm and deliberate how various connectivity initiatives can be proven successful and targets of the Blueprint can be met.


Alignment

Alignment - APEC:  The project aligns with the overarching APEC Connectivity Blueprint objective of achieving a seamless and comprehensively connected and integrated Asia-Pacific in which development and implementation require substantial amount of innovative thinking, information-sharing, coordination between Governments, and constant efforts in building capacities of officials. These activities can be realised through and under the spirit of the APEC economic and technical cooperation (ECOTECH) and public-private partnerships as mentioned in the Blueprint. Chile as the host of APEC 2019 is also giving strong emphasis on connectivity through its proposals on advancing smart border, smart logistics and fostering mobility of talents. This project will also support APEC economies’ progress in the implementation of the Trade Facilitation Agreement and strengthening regional economic integration.

Alignment – Forum: This project corresponds with the current CTI Work Program, which among others focuses on the implementation of SCFAP II and A2C2. The first phase of SCFAP had identified few problems such as insufficient infrastructure, lack of information and consistency, as well as cross-cutting institutional problems, hence the need to utilise the Dialogue in identifying possible solutions. The recently endorsed APEC Strategic Blueprint for Promoting Global Value Chains 2020-2025 and the Supply Chain Integration 4.0 through APEC Single Window Interoperability Action Plan would provide better direction for CTI in spearheading future institutional connectivity initiatives which could be explored through this project. Other CTI sub-fora such as the Sub-Committee on Customs Procedures, Business Mobility Group (BMG) and the Group on Services (GOS) are also pursuing initiatives related to connectivity, such as customs modernizations, travel facilitation for business travelers and mobility of professionals in the region.

TILF/ASF Justification

Not Applicable.

Beneficiaries and Outputs

Outputs:

i)    A survey will be distributed to confirmed participants and the CTI members prior to the event to gather their views on the current progress of the implementation of the ACB, and their ideas on how should it be strengthened in view of current development in all pillars of connectivity. The survey findings will be shared with the experts for their further deliberation during the PPD. If there were any implementation gaps identified during the survey, for instance from the private sector, that could be useful inputs or an eye opener for policymakers in finding amicable solutions or potential collaboration with a view to addressing the gaps.

ii) The one-day PPD provides the avenue for experts of each connectivity pillar to share their thoughts and recommendations towards an effective implementation of ACB, taking into account the emerging challenges and opportunities. Thus, the recommendations and sharing of best practices from other international organisations on how they measure success of connectivity initiatives, as well efficiency of economies in providing facilities and formulating policies that correspond to digitalisation and borderless communication will be shared with the Senior Officials, other relevant APEC fora as well as ABAC for consideration in building future action plans, and finding common grounds and exploring potential collaborations. The following issues are planned to be discussed during the PPD:

a)   Background of ACB 2025 and preliminary outcomes of its Mid-term Review

b)   Measuring connectivity initiatives, i.e. sharing of insights from the ASEAN Secretariat

c)   Emerging opportunities and challenges in regional connectivity for each pillar

iii)  As standard practice, a Summary Report will be prepared and shared with CTI members and uploaded into the Project Database for future reference of CTI members and the general public.

iv)  Although the project will support the Mid-term Review (MTR) of the ACB will be conducted by the Policy Support Unit (PSU) independently, the MTR worth a mention during the PPD as a tool of APEC in measuring its commitment in implementing the ACB.

Outcomes: 

i)  Outcomes of the project might not be able to be measured immediately after the Dialogue, but rather through better understanding of participants in implementing ACB as well as on the importance of seeing digitalisation as an opportunity for bigger and better collaboration among economies. New projects and collaboration would be reflected in the Yearly Review Framework on ACB conducted annually by the APEC Secretariat.

ii)   Nonetheless, the following are desired outcomes that we wish to achieve:

a)  Check­list for economies before proposing for connectivity-related projects in APEC, in responding to the emergence of digital economy and technology. The proposed checklist is intended to provide guidance to project proponents in implementing the ACB, taking into considerations the strategies and elements outlined in the ACB, for example economic and technical cooperation, capacity-building, funding, engagement with private sectors and cross-fora collaboration. The checklist will be developed by the appointed contractor and to be endorsed by CTI and relevant fora related to each connectivity pillar, and if appropriate, at SOM level. Upon endorsement, the checklist will be uploaded into the APEC Publication Database on the APEC website.

b)  Compilation of current major initiatives that are corresponding to ACB for reference and guidance to incoming connectivity-related projects.

iii)  The PPD is also meant to provide the Senior Officials with analytical and policy perspectives for them to reflect on the current state of implementation of ACB, as well as to give economies better ideas  especially in pursuing collaboration on ACB with other economies.

Beneficiaries: Participants will be policymakers, think tanks, international organisations and business community which are the stakeholders in the implementation of the Blueprint. Economies will be strongly encouraged to nominate gender-balanced participation, likewise in the line of experts to be invited to the Dialogue.

The abovementioned stakeholders’ participation is important as they are the ones implementing the ACB. For think tanks and international organisations, their insights would help government officials, including the Senior Officials and policymakers to keep updated with various studies and research outcomes which are very much needed in charting domestic and regional initiatives on connectivity. Input from the private sector will complement the plan of policymakers in ensuring ACB is implemented in a win-win, collaborative and practical manner.

Dissemination

The Summary Report which would include recommendations from the experts, outcomes of the survey and outcomes of the panel sessions will be made available for public access in the Project Database and disseminated through e-mail to all participants, and relevant for afora in APEC including CTI, SOM Steering Committee on ECOTECH (SCE), Economic Committee, Human Resource Development Working Group (HRDWG), Business Mobility Group (BMG), Sub-Committee on Customs Procedures (SCCP), and the Group on Services (GOS).

There is no intention to sell outputs arising from this project.

Gender

Women’s participation in the PPD is equally important as it would complement the on-going efforts of APEC in promoting and enhancing their role in contributing towards economic growth in the region. To encourage their participation, invitation to the PPD will explicitly mention the need for balanced participation from both genders. As for experts, POs will identify female experts for a balanced composition of panel of speakers.

Women will not be left behind from utilising the benefit of seamless connectivity in APEC. Outcomes and objective of the project could provide clarity and ideas to relevant stakeholders. For example, under the people-to-people pillar, mutual recognition agreement (MRAs) on mobility of professionals would take into consideration the aspect of security and flexibility for working mothers.

It is hoped that the PPD can promote women’s economic empowerment through the following pillars, in responding to APEC Gender Criteria:

i)  Access to capital and assets – by moving freely and without hassles from one economy to another to participating in the local workforce or professional services.

ii) Access to markets – seamless connectivity in all pillars will facilitate movement of goods produced by women entrepreneurs regardless the size of their businesses.

iii) Skills, capacity-building and–health - effective implementation of ACB requires continuous knowledge-sharing and capacity-building among economies. Thus, women stakeholders should not be neglected and be given equal opportunities as their male counterparts.

Innovation and technology – seamless connectivity will also enhance cooperation among economies on innovation and advancing technology. Mutual policies or MRA on women participation, for example in non-traditional sectors will facilitate their participation and access to international cooperation on technology and innovation.

Project Overseer will also commit to collecting sex-disaggregated data for all project participants (APEC and self-funded). PO understands that all APEC projects are required to collect sex-disaggregated data and this data will be reported in the Completion Report.

Work Plan

Time

Tasks

Deliverables

Nov  2019

Endorsement of project proposal.

Dec 2019 –Feb 2020

Appoint contractor

Prepare Terms of Reference (TOR) and contract for the contractor.

Prepare PPD agenda and obtain comments from economies.

Signed agreement.

Finalised PPD agenda.

Apr 2020

Submit the APEC Project Monitoring Report to the APEC Secretariat

Progress in preparation of the PPD

Jun 2020

Issue invitation to economies and experts to participate in the PPD.

Circulate survey to relevant APEC Committees for asub-fora.

Confirmation of participation of officials and experts that achieve gender balance.

Aug 2020

Organise the PPD at the margins of SOM3/2020

Outcomes of the PPD could be shared with PSU as additional input for the MTR on ACB. The project will provide useful information regarding the implementation of the ACB from a complementary angle by getting the feedback from relevant stakeholders, including the private sector. The ACB is an APEC-wide strategy and this project will focus on certain key issues under the ACB, namely: quality infrastructure, paperless border clearance, adoption of international standards, and travel facilitation.

Outcomes of the PPD that contribute to the finalization of the Mid-term Review of ACB and better implementation of the ACB.

Evaluation of the PPD to participants.

Sep 2020

Draft a Summary of the PPD and APEC Project Completion Report (as per APEC template).

Draft the ACB checklist

Draft Summary of PPD

Draft APEC Project Completion Report

Draft ACB checklist

By Jan 2021

Submit both draft Summary Report and APEC Project Completion Report to the APEC Secretariat and subsequently to CTI for comments and endorsement.

Submit the draft ACB checklist to CTI and other relevant parties for endorsement.

Endorsed APEC Project Completion Report

Publication of the Summary Report on APEC Project Database and circulation to PPD participants and other relevant fora.

Publication of the ACB checklist on the APEC Publication Database.

Within 2 months after the Project Completion Date (PCD)

Submission of supporting documents to the APEC Secretariat

6-12 months after PCD

Participating in the Long Term Evaluation of APEC Projects conducted by the Secretariat, as required by all APEC-funded projects.

Risks

The following issues have been identified as potential risks that have to be mitigated prior to the implementation stage of the project: 

i)  Lack of participation especially from non-funded economies

Risk mitigation includes early circulation of invitation together with a firm agenda for nomination of suitable participants.

ii)  Imbalanced participation from both genders

Risk mitigation is by stating explicitly in the invitation on the need for inclusive and balanced participation of both genders.

iii) Mismatch of experts/speakers with areas of topics to be discussed in the agenda, and lack of interest from invited speakers.

Risk mitigation includes consulting co-sponsoring economies in identifying suitable experts/speakers and sending out early invitation to them.

iv) Lack of response to the survey.  This could be minimised through designing a good questionnaire as well as ensuring that relevant participants that are genuinely interested to contribute to the project will be invited.

Monitoring and Evaluation

Outputs

Indicators

Survey

70 per cent response rate

Quality of response

PPD on  Public-Private Dialogue (PPD) on Emerging Opportunities and Challenges in Implementing the APEC Connectivity Blueprint 2025

Number of participants, and economies represented

Number of women participation and speakers (the PO stands guided by the acceptable number of women representation for a project to be considered inclusive and achieving the gender target. Perhaps 50 per cent women participants and speakers would be a great milestone for a gender neutral-project like this).

Number of recommendations discussed and produced at the PPD

Checklist for economies before proposing for ACB-related projects

Endorsement by CTI and relevant by CTI, and if appropriate at SOM level.

Summary Report

Endorsement by CTI

Outcomes

Indicators

Checklist of economies before proposing for connectivity-related projects in APEC, in responding to the emergence of digital economy and technology

The checklist is expected to be used by SOM2 2021

Number of economies using the checklist

Number of economies giving feedback to improve the checklist

Compilation of current major initiatives that are corresponding to ACB for reference and guidance to incoming connectivity-related projects

Expanding number of initiatives to show the importance of having such repository and positive impacts the PPD has on economies in establishing new connectivity-related initiatives.

Increased cross-fora collaboration on connectivity-related initiatives  

Reports from committees and sub-fora at SOM

The PPD would be considered successful if all elements are satisfied during and after the event itself. High rate of participation of relevant APEC delegates of various fora other than CTI, and nomination of economies including from non-travel eligible ones would indicate that the PPD agenda are substantial and worth deliberating upon. Invited speakers and experts are expected to provide practical ideas, share best practices, and be open to views and possible thought-provoking inputs from participants. The recommendations ideally to be taken into consideration by APEC in planning for future collaborations on connectivity, and the Yearly Review on ACB. A survey to gather feedback on the PPD will be circulated to the participants after the event. 

Gender impacts could not be measured immediately after the event, but rather can be observed through fora’s commitment including Policy Partnership on Women and Economy (PPWE) in following through the gender element in their future initiatives and policy discussions.     

Data on perception towards APEC connectivity agenda and the implementation of the ACB will be gathered through a survey prior to the event.

Linkages

Among others, an important non-APEC stakeholder includes the ASEAN Secretariat which will be invited to share ASEAN strategies and experience in implementing and monitoring the progress of its Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity (MPAC) 2025. This project is also built on from the Case Studies on Addressing Connectivity Challenges in APEC Economies conducted by the Policy Support Unit (PSU) in 2018, by including input from the private sector. The theme of the project is also cross-cutting in nature and would require cross-fora collaboration among CTI, the Economic Committee (EC) and the SOM Steering Committee on Economic and Technical Cooperation (SCE).

Sustainability

Connectivity agenda has been and will continuously be pursued in APEC for a seamless regional economic integration (REI). Practical and realistic recommendations will be benchmarked against future strategies and action plans of connectivity-related initiatives. Those inputs will also feed into the final review of ACB in 2025.

In measuring the progress, it is suggested that the current Yearly Review of ACB to include the new elements, where applicable. It may take some time in establishing a dedicated APEC “Connectivity Index”, but qualitative attributes and suggestions from the PPD could kick start discussions, future work and collaboration among economies. Upon maturity of the ACB in 2025, both private sector and economies should be able to emulate and demonstrate the benefits of opportunities presented earlier.

Project Overseers

Ms. Asmidar Abdul Rahman is Principal Assistant Director of SCE Unit, Regional and International Relations Division (RIRD), Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI), Malaysia. She was the Program Director for the Friends of the Chair (FotC) on Connectivity Meeting in the APEC Secretariat from 2015-2018.

Cost Efficiency

Not Applicable.

Drawdown Timetable

Not Applicable.

Direct Labour

The potential contractor will be tasked to assist in developing the agenda, building a pre-event survey for participants, contacting potential speakers and preparing a detailed report on outcomes of the PPD.

The Institute of Malaysian and International Studies (IKMAS), which is also known as the APEC Study Centre for Malaysia is the potential contractor for the project. The personnel are:

Prof. Dr. Sufian Jusoh, Principal Fellow

Mr. Muhammad Faliq Abd Razak, Fellow


Waivers

Waivers are sought for the following:

-  Participants from travel-eligible APEC economies to receive per diem in advance; and

-  The funded speakers to receive per diem in advance.


Are there any supporting document attached?

No 
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Project No.

Project Title

Project Status

Publication (if any)

Fund Account

Sub-fund

Project Year

Project Session

APEC Funding

Co-funding Amount

Total Project Value

Sponsoring Forum

Topics

Committee

Other Fora Involved

Other Non-APEC Stakeholders Involved

Proposing Economy(ies)

Co-Sponsoring Economies

Expected Start Date

Expected Completion Date

Project Proponent Name 1

Job Title 1

Organization 1

Postal Address 1

Telephone 1

Fax 1

Email 1

Project Proponent Name 2

Job Title 2

Organization 2

Postal Address 2

Telephone 2

Fax 2

Email 2

Declaration

Project Summary

Relevance

Objectives

Alignment

TILF/ASF Justification

Beneficiaries and Outputs

Dissemination

Gender

Work Plan

Risks

Monitoring and Evaluation

Linkages

Sustainability

Project Overseers

Cost Efficiency

Drawdown Timetable

Direct Labour

Waivers

Are there any supporting document attached?

hdFldAdmin

Project Number

Previous Fora

Secretariat Comments

Reprogramming Notes

Consolidated QAF

Endorsement By Fora

PD Sign Off

Batch

Forum Priority

Committee Ranking Category

Committee Priority

PDM Priority

Priority Within Funding Category

Monitoring Report Received

Completion Report Received

PMU Field 1

PMU Field 2

PMU Field 3

On Behalf Of

Proposal Status

Originating Sub-Forum

Approval Status
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